Portales man arrested in Texico kidnapping

New Mexico

A Portales man is arrested after police say he kidnapped a 9-year-old girl in Texico.

Augustin Gallegos, 34, was arrested on Thursday afternoon on charges of First Degree Kidnapping (Intent to commit death, a physical injury or a sexual offense) and Tampering with Evidence.

It happened on Wednesday when the girl was reported missing after not coming home from school in Texico.

According to the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement determined she was taken by Gallegos, who is a family friend.

Texico Police said Gallegos admitted he had taken the girl and took police to a church in Portales where they found her unharmed and locked in a storage room.

Police said Gallegos admitted to transporting the child to Texas and then to Portales, knowing that law enforcement was searching for her.

Officials told us Gallegos claimed he took the girl to protect her from a relative who was abusing her. Police said after multiple interviews and investigation, Gallegos’ claim has not been substantiated.

The Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Gallegos’ case will be present to a Roosevelt County Grand Jury next week where more charges will be filed, including Child Abuse and 2 counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of a minor.

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